Thunder – October 14, 1999: Shooting For Comedy

Thunder
Date: October 14, 1999
Location: Riverside Centroplex, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Attendance: 4,941
Commentators: Kevin Nash, Mike Tenay, Larry Zbyszko

Now we’re getting close to the end of an era for WCW, and there’s something special on this show. From what I understand, Kevin Nash is on his last night as the booker and is going to be sitting in on commentary tonight. This could range anywhere from absolutely hilarious to the biggest disaster since…..well probably since Fall Brawl actually. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

At least the show is live tonight so it only mostly sucks instead of completely sucking.

Tenay and Zbyszko don’t have an explanation for why Nash is there. His justification: he’s booked himself into a retirement angle so WCW is putting him in the booth to recoup some of his money. He hasn’t seen Hall since Hall left with two girls for sushi on Monday. Oh yeah this is going to be REALLY good.

Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker vs. Jim Duggan

During the entrances, the announcers aren’t sure if Goldberg vs. Sid is still on for Halloween Havoc. Normally the response would be “oh of course it is” but this is WCW so you never can tell. It’s a smart move to start this show with a former Mid-South star in Duggan. The fans chant USA as Duggan shoots at Parker with the board. That would be a different kind of shooting than Nash will likely be doing tonight. A right hand knocks Parker out to the floor and the brawl heads outside. Nash thinks Buddy should grab the board. That’s not a bad idea actually.

Parker stomps away and rakes the eyes back inside. He even avoids a charge in the corner and we hit the chinlock. Nash: “Use the board!” Duggan fights up with his wide variety of right hands, which thankfully are no longer taped. The three point clothesline and the Old Glory knee drop are enough for the pin. Nash: “Tenay where do you come up with the names for these names?”

Rating: D. I’m not sure what else you would expect out of this match. Parker was a jobber about ten years before this and is still at about the same level here. There wasn’t much to see, or unfortunately hear, in this one with the only funny line coming after the match with Nash asking where the Old Glory name came from.

Lash Leroux vs. Al Greene

Nash sings Al Green songs and brings up the two of them being old tag partners. More smart booking with Leroux in there, even though Nash shows a strange obsession with his sideburns. Lash punches out of a gorilla press and dances a bit before clotheslining Greene out to the floor. Tenay brings up Leroux challenging for the Cruiserweight Title at Halloween Havoc before Lash sends him into the buckle. Al catches him out of the air in a powerslam for two but Lash shrugs it off and hits Whiplash for the pin. Basically a squash and even Lash points at his sideburns. Oh they’re shaped like L’s. That’s…..well that’s something.

Video on the First Family vs. Harlem Heat. That’s something as well, but it’s something very, very bad.

Here are Luger and Elizabeth with something to say. Tenay announces Buff Bagwell vs. “The Package” next week like he’s announcing the main event of Starrcade. Luger talks about being in this business for thirteen years and thinks it’s ridiculous that they have to come to a town like Baton Rouge. The fans will have to shut up if they want him to talk. Nash: “He’s so smarmy!”

Luger asks Elizabeth how many internet emails, cards…..and then he trails off to yell at the fans about how awesome he is. Luger blames the fans for the death of Lex Luger because his greatness won’t be appreciated until he’s gone. Nash: “Does he use the Old Glory torture rack?” No one sent him any cards while he was recovering from his biceps injury because the fans want to climb over him to get to the top.

Cue Buff Bagwell who says he tried to get in touch with Luger while he was on the shelf and Luger seems to have forgotten some of his friends. Speaking of friends, what has been going on with Luger and Sting? Bagwell followed the two of them down the roads and learned a lot from them, but now they’ve turned their backs on everyone. Luger thinks Bagwell should get on his hands and knees to thank him for everything he’s done for Bagwell over the years. Cue Rick Steiner (Nash: “Submarine attack!”) but, I kid you not, La Parka comes out to make the save. Nash thinks Luger is terrified of skeletons.

Video on Kidman seeming to have hooked up with Torrie, who has blown David Flair off. David hasn’t helped his case by getting beaten up by Hennig and Curly Bill.

Tenay asks Nash about the girls that sit with Hall and Nash. Nash sings about Torrie in response and asks where this week’s road report is.

Brian Knobbs/Hugh Morrus vs. Scott Armstrong/Steve Armstrong

Knobbs pounds Steve into the corner to start but walks into a nice dropkick. It’s off to Morrus (kind of a noteworthy person at the time this is being written. Five years from now, that likely won’t mean much) vs. Steve with the Armstrong getting dropped on his face out of a gorilla press. A double shoulder drops Steve as Nash brings up Bull Nakano as Morrus’ hairdresser.

Jimmy Hart’s distraction allows the First Family to get in some double teaming. Can we get a look at the second family? They have to be more interesting. Steve gets splashed in the corner a few times and Morrus stomps away again. He misses a top rope elbow though and Steve (who looks like a more muscular Lodi) makes the hot tag to Scott. Everything breaks down and Knobbs runs Scott over, setting up No Laughing Matter for the pin.

Rating: D-. The Filthy Animals and the Revolution are busy fighting each other but these guys are getting a pay per view title shot and a feud with a top level team like Harlem Heat. That shows you the value of having friends in high places, which doesn’t mean anything good for the fans but it means great things for Knobbs.

Post match Knobbs says Harlem Heat are the “fruit booties” now, so here come the champs to clean house. Nash: “That’s Wesley Snipes! Nah it’s just Booker T.” Ray wants to fight the, and I quote, “Doughnut eating, milk drinking fruit booties” right now. I would ask what that means, but I don’t think I’m old enough to hear the explanation.

We recap Mysterio vs. Saturn, triggering the implosion of the Revolution. Tenay suggests renaming Shane to Chain Douglas. Actually I’ve heard worse ideas.

Now we get to the good stuff, as Nash has put together a video on Sid vs. Goldberg, complete with an over the top NFL Films style narration. Sid shouts about Goldberg not being able to touch him and how good it will feel at Halloween Havoc. Nash: “We don’t know that yet because we haven’t touched.”

We look at Goldberg beating up Horace but Nash stops doing commentary to celebrate making it onto the hard camera in the front row. Nash: “Goldberg! A force! A bald man…..with a tattoo…..who has only lost once……to Kevin Nash!” Tenay: “Did you ever work for NFL Films?” Nash: “Goldberg, standing in the tundra of Lambeau Field…..and here’s Sid. 6’10, 200….300….400…..no 597lbs of menacing steel!”

Larry is begging for Nash’s “water” as we see Steiner and Sid beating up Van Hammer. Nash points out that the referee, while bald, is in fact, not Goldberg. Nash wants to know why Rick Steiner is from Detroit but talks like a southern redneck. We jump ahead to the main event where Goldberg came out to fight Steiner and Sid. Nash: “Goldberg ponders the situation, looks from side to side, walks away, winks, and SOME TACKLE! WHAT DOES MONDAY BRING US???”

This was one of the funniest and most entertaining things I’ve ever seen on Thunder and I can’t imagine it being topped later on. Here’s the key to comedy, especially in wrestling: you can’t script it down to the letter. This was Nash riffing on a pretty basic recap package and being entertaining because Kevin Nash is a funny guy and can turn something simple into something funny. You can’t just hand someone a script and tell them to do comedy.

Imagine someone like Lance Storm trying to do this. It would bomb as he just doesn’t have that kind of personality and probably wouldn’t be able to make it funny. Great talkers can read the phone book and make if funny but if you have someone not geared towards comedy reading material that isn’t very funny, it’s usually going to fail miserably. This on the other hand was hilarious and something that a written recap doesn’t do justice.

Horace Hogan vs. Brian Adams

I don’t see this being as entertaining. Nash accuses Shane Douglas of dragging Saturn down as the announcers are already ignoring the match. Apparently Malenko and Benoit have taken a trip to Japan to perform. Well that might be better for them instead of getting beaten up by Sid and Steiner again. Adams hits his tilt-a-whirl backbreaker as Nash finally starts talking about the match. Horace fights back with a DDT and a low blow (Nash: “The Old Glory mule kick!”) and they head outside.

Nash thinks Luger is scared to come out here because of the skeletons on Adams’ pants and promises to put a package together on Luger for next week. Tenay: “Please not again.” I would say it has to be more entertaining than this match, but so would a bad toe infection. Horace scores with a backdrop but gets caught in a backbreaker. Nash gives us some trivia: this was originally a hair vs. hair match. With the fans dying in front of their eyes, Adams hits a horrible looking piledriver for the pin.

Rating: D-. You remember a few minutes ago when I talked about people needing to stick to what they’re good at? I’d advise Horace to stick to something other than wrestling as he really isn’t very talented in that field. This is the kind of match that gives Thunder a bad reputation. It was sloppy, ignored by the commentators and didn’t need to exist. Adams would be better suited as a bodyguard for some punk heel. Bad match if that wasn’t clear.

Video on Sting vs. Hogan.

Here’s Lash Leroux for a chat. Tenay: “He gets promo time as well!” Leroux says people didn’t take him seriously when he got here, but a Cajun knows how to add a little spice to things. All the Lash Lovers are here and they’ll be in Lash Vegas to see him take the title. Lash insists that he can dance but thankfully doesn’t demonstrate. Nash: “If you can dance and play the accordion in Louisiana, you’re going to get lucky tonight.” I’ve heard worse promos, though it was pretty much one note.

Berlyn vs. Brad Armstrong video. I really hope this winds up being revealed as a big rib.

After a commercial for WCW action figures, Nash wants to know why he’s doing a job in the ad. I’m sure 99% of the fans had no idea what he was talking about here but my goodness it’s making this easier to sit through.

Prince Iaukea vs. Berlyn

This would be the Column B to go with Nash’s Column A stuff. Tonight it’s Steiner/Luger vs. Bagwell/La Parka. Nash: “GET OUT! NO WAY!” That would again be Column B. Nash says it’s a result of half the roster being gone today so they had to book this on the fly. Tenay: “Welcome to this all shoot edition of Thunder.” Iaukea jumps over the referee and dropkicks Berlyn down before hitting a Thesz Press and right hands.

Berlyn gets in some cheap shots to take over as Nash talks about a variety wrestling show airing on TBS, hosted by himself and Hall. Saturday Night Titans? He needs to move on because he’s too old to bump at this point. Iaukea fights back but gets poked in the eye. Nash: “Little shortcutsky there. Oh wait he’s German. Achen-shortcutsken.” An Angle Slam is called a Samoan drop (Nash: “Old Glory Samoan drop”) and gets two for Iaukea but Berlyn grabs a quick suplex. The bodyguard gets in a cheap shot and Berlyn’s neckbreaker is good for the pin.

Rating: D. Kevin Nash is carrying this show on his back and I’m having a great time listening to him. The wrestling has ranged from bad to horrible but he’s made the matches fly by with these jokes here and there. Berlyn and Iaukea are nothing in the ring but the bodyguard continues to look like a potential star. Or at least a very tall one.

Video on Meng, which I believe is the same one from Monday. Ignore the WCW Hotline phone number, or at least the bottom half of it, appearing at the top of the video.

Luther Biggs vs. Meng

Oh Nash is going to have a field day here. Larry is scared of seeing the worst student if Biggs is the best. Nash compliments Meng’s hair. That’s certainly in his ballpark. He also wonders why you never see Meng and Barry White in the same place at the same time. Meng jumps him to start and the beating is on in the corner. Biggs’ offense has almost no effect and the Death Grip ends this quick.

Coach Stern tries to come in for a save but gets Death Gripped as well. Nash: “You should know you’re never going to win after a sweet video package like that.”

Perry Saturn vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Rematch from Monday when Shane Douglas interfered. Mysterio now has some cool rotating pyro. As the announcers talk about the Halloween Havoc card, Nash brings up Mean Gene’s Burgers. I have to find one of those places someday. Saturn takes him down and hammers away to start before Rey flips out of a German suplex attempt.

Rey gets launched face first onto the top turnbuckle but avoids a charge and hits the Bronco Buster. Oh sorry the Rough Rider. Nash: “The Old Glory Rough Rider!” Even Nash is cracking up at the running joke. Saturn suplexes Rey with ease with a t-bone and a big belly to belly. Nash: “That was a porterhouse!” Saturn cranks on the arm as Nash talks about the Old Glory Living Legend.

Back up and Rey dropkicks the knee out, only to get caught in an overhead belly to belly. Larry: “Old Glory suplex?” Nash correctly identifies a full nelson and Larry is stunned. A rollup gets two for Rey but he tries a headscissors out of the corner and gets dropped face first on the mat. Rey’s top rope hurricanrana is countered with a superbomb for two but his victory roll is enough for the pin out of nowhere.

Rating: C. The match was decent enough but Nash’s commentary actually gets distracting after a bit. It’s funny, but this was one of the only decent matches all night and I was too busy chuckling at Nash’s lines to get into it. Granted when you can make Tenay and Zbyszko entertaining, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Saturn pulls out a chain, lays out Mysterio and throws the referee to the floor. He adds in the Old Glory elbow drop and the Rings of Saturn for good measure.

Rick Steiner/Total Package vs. La Parka/Buff Bagwell

This has to be a rib from Nash. I mean, it HAS to be. It’s a big brawl on the floor to start with La Parka putting up a better fight against Steiner than almost anyone else has in months. His reward is a hard whip into the barricade but at least he tried. Steiner hammers away on the floor as Bagwell chokes Luger against the barricade. They get inside for the first time with Steiner nailing La Parka with the chair. Nash: “And the Old Glory choke on the outside!”

We settle down to Steiner vs. La Parka (which I believe is Spanish for “what the heck am I doing here?”) with Rick cranking on the arm. Off to Luger for a suplex for two but La Parka comes back with a middle rope dropkick. Steiner shoves La Parka into the corner for the tag to Bagwell as everything breaks down. La Parka gets in the way of a Blockbuster attempt, so Bagwell gives him the Blockbuster instead, allowing Steiner and Luger to stomp La Parka for…..the no contest to end the show.

Rating: F. Nash tried but was more subdued here and there was nothing he could do with this one. The ending didn’t make sense but I’m sure this is going to lead to something else next week. Now I never said it was going to make sense or be connected to what we saw here but I’m sure it’s going to lead somewhere.

Overall Rating: B. This show was a blast. I know Kevin Nash gets a lot of flack from fans, but he made this horrible show into something interesting and entertaining for two hours. That alone makes him into something better than most of the people on this show, who haven’t entertained me that much over the last few months. This is another show that barely matters as the writers are changing in the very near future, so at least it was a fun show to go out on.

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1 comment

  1. Gillberg!!! says:

    Hilarious! I have to track this one down, somehow. Well, clearly we see Nash should be a commentator, not a booker. So of course they’ll give him the book again, next year. Sigh.

    Surprised there was no “Old Glory Hold” mentioned on the telecast. Given that Nash is the one who gave us Lenny Loves Lodi, you’d think that joke would be right up his, uh, alley. 😉